Earlier this school year, I wrote about how we were easing into our shopping routine. That was way back in October! We've continued to shop for books each week (on Fridays) all at the same time. While this does tend to be a little chaotic, I believe the benefits outweigh the slightly crazy atmosphere for about 20 minutes. If you really listen in, it is clearly book excitement that is causing the loudness! Anyway... shopping. We started the year by learning this I-PICK method (directly from Gail and Joan's book.)
|We refer to this I-PICK chart often!|
|We're currently thinking about and adding to this chart.|
My first graders have the responsibility of choosing the books for their book tubs that they feel are a good fit. No two book tubs will look exactly alike, even if children happen to be reading at the same "level." They are at the point in their reading lives when they are discovering the magic of series books and recommending books to friends.
While they still get to choose their own books, I do have a few students who still need more of my guidance and nudging with their book selection. There is a time and a place for me to hand students a stack of books that are at their reading level, and then they get to make the decisions as to which ones they'd like to read. I'm okay with that.
As I've read many times, Allington suggests having students reading books with 95-99% accuracy for most (or all) of their independent reading time. I see the value in that. In my classroom, there is also the freedom to choose books which will challenge us in one way or another. Some of my readers have challenged themselves to ...
-read more "classics"
-read all of the books in a series
-read more graphic novels
-find books to recommend to friends
-read long books
-read more picture books
-read more nonfiction
One change I've made recently is allowing students to shop for a new title once they finish one in their book tub. This comes into play especially with those students who are reading longer books or are attempting to read books in a series. As a reader, when I find a series I love, I know I cannot wait to read the next book... so who am I to make someone wait until Friday? They are welcome to make the switch at any time, other than during our Daily Five sessions.
While we do count the number of books we finished that week before we shop, I know that sometimes we finish our books before it's time to shop again. I'd rather have students spend a little extra time looking for new books throughout the week than becoming off-task or bored because they've finished the books in their book tub!
I do hand books to readers at times when I meet with them in small groups or when I confer one-on-one with a reader. I'm also trying really hard to find books to sneak into their book tubs that I think they'll like. I love watching their eyes light up when they see a new book with a little note from me! Just today, I slid a new Martha Speaks book into a little boy's book tub. I knew exactly when he found it because I heard the "MISS KOMOS!!! I love Martha Speaks! Thank you for the new book!" from across the room. : )